Application for Permit
Issue Date: October 8, 2020
Expiration Date: November 9, 2020
US Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2020-66
Oregon Department of State Lands No: 62123RF
Interested parties are hereby notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) has received an application for a Department of the Army permit for certain work in waters of the United States, as described below and shown on the attached plans. The Corps is soliciting comments on the proposed work.
Interested parties are hereby notified that all or a portion of the work as described below and shown on the attached plans was performed without specific authorization from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps’ permit regulations (33 CFR 326.3(e)) allow the District Engineer to accept an after-the-fact permit application to evaluate whether an activity is contrary to the public interest. Based on a preliminary review, the Corps has accepted an after-the-fact permit application for this project. The Corps is soliciting comments on the existing and proposed work.
Applicant: Sunset Drainage District
Attention: Jack Thayer
14855 Tideland Rd.
Nehalem, Oregon 97131
Telephone: (503) 368-6908
Location: The project site is located on Gallagher Slough and adjacent farmlands, located off Tideland Road in Nehalem, Tillamook County, Oregon. The site is upstream of a tide gate, beneath Highway 101, located at the confluence of Gallagher Slough and the Nehalem River. The site is in Section 26, Township 3 North, Range 10 West Latitude and Longitude: Starting point is 45.71573° North, -123.8721° West and the End point is 45.703574° North, -123.878581° West.
Waterway: Gallagher Slough, a tidal channel to the Nehalem River.
Project Purpose: The applicant’s stated purpose is to improve drainage in Gallagher Slough and adjacent agricultural fields.
Project Description: The project proposes to excavate approximately 7,300 cubic yards of sediments and riparian vegetation below the ordinary high water mark of 3,800 linear feet of Gallagher Slough to improve drainage for farmlands. The project proposes to grade or place approximately 7,000 cubic yards of native fill materials below the ordinary high water mark of 3,800 linear feet of Gallagher Slough by pulling the excavated materials up the bank of the slough, on the farmed side, and on top of existing driveways. Excess excavated materials would be placed outside of the slough and incorporated into the farmed soils, which are farmed wetlands with ongoing farming practices. Brush and woody debris would be removed using an excavator in a manner that would not destabilize the banks. Equipment would operate from the top of bank using long arm equipment to reach into Gallagher Slough and excavate the material. Areas within Gallagher Slough where small mounds have accumulated would not need full excavation. An inner low tide channel would be excavated and shaped in the downstream wider reach of Gallagher Slough.
Dredged Material Testing: The proposed dredged material will be evaluated in accordance with the Sediment Evaluation Framework for the Pacific Northwest (SEF). The interagency Portland Sediment Evaluation Team (PSET) implements the SEF for the Corps Portland District. The PSET will determine if sediment testing is required for this project. Project sediments may require physical, chemical, and/or biological testing to support the permit application evaluation. The PSET will evaluate the applicant’s sediment testing results and determine if project sediments are suitable for unconfined, aquatic disposal or exposure.
Mitigation: The applicant proposes to avoid and minimize impacts from the project by conducting in channel work during the summer low flow season recommended by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Accumulated sediments will prevent discharge downstream as the work would occur from the top end of the slough and work towards the confluence of the Nehalem River. If water is present during excavation, block nets would be used to keep fish out of the work areas. The applicant did not propose compensatory mitigation in the permit application. The Corps will determine the type and amount of compensatory mitigation necessary to offset environmental losses from the proposed project.
Drawings: Six (6) drawings are attached and labeled Corps No.: NWP-2020-066. Copies of this public notice, which have been mailed or otherwise physically distributed, feature project drawings in black and white. The electronic version features those drawings in color, which we think more accurately illustrates the proposed project. To access the electronic version of this public notice, go to the Portland District Regulatory website at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory and select Regulatory Public Notices from the list of Regulatory pages.
Authority: The proposed project will be evaluated under the following:
Section 10, Rivers and Harbors Act 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403), for work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States.
Section 14, Rivers and Harbors Act 1899 (33 U.S.C. 408) (referred to as “Section 408”), for work to alter a Corps civil works project. An alteration is defined as any action that builds upon, alters, improves, moves, occupies or otherwise affects the usefulness, or the structural or ecological integrity of a Corps federally authorized project. The proposed project may alter the levee and tidegate system along the Nehalem River and Gallagher Slough.
Section 404, Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344), for discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.
Clean Water Act Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines: The described discharge will be evaluated for compliance with guidelines promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under authority of Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act. The 404(b)(1) Guidelines are the substantive criteria used in evaluating discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States. The Corps will evaluate the fill material source (i.e., borrow site) prior to finalizing a permit decision.
Endangered Species: Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (16 U.S.C. 1536) requires federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and/or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on all actions that may affect a species listed (or proposed for listing) under the ESA as threatened or endangered or that may adversely modify designated critical habitat. The Corps’ preliminary review indicates the described activity may affect an endangered or threatened species or designated critical habitat. The Corps will initiate consultation under Section 7 of the ESA. The Corps will complete the required consultation prior to finalizing a permit decision.
Essential Fish Habitat: Section 305(b)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) as amended (16 U.S.C. 1855), requires Federal agencies to consult with the NMFS on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency, that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). The Corps’ preliminary review indicates the described activity would adversely affect EFH at the project location or in the vicinity. The Corps will initiate consultation under Section 305(b)(2) of the MSA. The Corps will complete the required consultation prior to finalizing a permit decision.
Historic Properties/Cultural Resources: Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (54 U.S.C. 306108), requires Federal agencies to consult with the appropriate State and/or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer to take into account the effects of actions they undertake or permit on historic properties listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The Corps’ preliminary review indicates to the best of our knowledge, the described activity is not located on property registered or eligible for registration in the latest published version of the National Register of Historic Places. At this time, the Corps is unaware of any cultural resource surveys of the project area.
This notice has been provided to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), interested Native American Indian Tribes, and other interested parties. If you have information pertaining to cultural resources within the permit area, please provide this information to the Corps’ project manager identified at the end of this notice to assist in a complete evaluation of potential effects.
State and Local Authorizations: The applicant is seeking approval from Department of Environmental Quality and Department of State Lands. The applicant will be applying for the following additional governmental authorizations for the project: County permits as applicable.
Public Hearing: Any person may request in writing within the comment period specified in this notice that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests for public hearings shall state with particularity the reasons for holding a public hearing.
Evaluation: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact, including cumulative impacts, of the described activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefit, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the described activity, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors, which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.
The Corps is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of the proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to allow an alteration of a federally authorized project or to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.
Submitting Comments: Interested parties are invited to provide comments on the proposed project. Comments may be submitted by conventional mail or email. All comments received will be considered in determining whether authorizing the work would be contrary to the public interest.
Either conventional mail or e-mail comments must include the Corps reference number as shown on page 1 and include the commenter’s name and address. In order to be accepted, e-mail comments must originate from the author’s e-mail account and must include on the subject line of the e-mail message the Corps reference number. All comments received will become part of the administrative record and are subject to public release under the Freedom of Information Act including any personally identifiable information such as names, phone numbers, and addresses.
Additional information about the proposed project may be obtained from the Corps Project Manager listed below. All comments, whether by conventional mail or e-mail, must be received no later than the expiration date of this public notice to ensure consideration. Comments should be submitted to the following mailing address or
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Kinsey M. Friesen
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, Oregon 97208-2946
Telephone: (503) 808-4378
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
Water Quality 401 Certification
Notice Issued: October 8, 2020
Written Comments Due: November 9, 2020
Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2020-66
Oregon Department of State Lands No: 62123RF
WHO IS THE APPLICANT: Sunset Drainage District
LOCATION OF CERTIFICATION ACTIVITY: See attached U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public notice.
WHAT IS PROPOSED: See attached U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public notice on the proposed project.
NEED FOR CERTIFICATION: Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act requires applicants for Federal permits or licenses to provide the Federal agency a water quality certification from the State of Oregon if the proposed activity may result in a discharge to waters of the state.
DESCRIPTION OF DISCHARGES: See attached U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public notice on the proposed project.
WHERE TO FIND DOCUMENTS: Documents and materials related to water quality issues as a result of the proposal are available for examination and copying at Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, 401 Water Quality Permit Coordinator, Northwest Region, 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, Oregon 97232. Other project materials are available by contacting the Corps per the attached public notice.
Scheduling an appointment will ensure that water quality documents are readily accessible during your visit. To schedule an appointment please call DEQ Water Quality at Northwest Region at (503) 229-5623.
Any questions on the water quality certification process may be addressed to the 401 Permit Coordinator at (503) 229-5623 or toll free within Oregon at (800) 452-4011. People with hearing impairments may call the Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service at (800) 735-2900.
Public Hearing: Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 340-48-0032 (2) states that “The Corps provides public notice of and opportunity to comment on the applications, including the application for certification, provided that the department (DEQ), in its discretion, may provide additional opportunity for public comment, including public hearing.”
Written comments: Written comments on project elements related to water quality must be received at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality by 5 p.m. on the date specified in the upper right section on page one of this notice. Written comments may be e-mailed or mailed as described below:
E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail - Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Northwest Region
700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600
Portland, Oregon 97232
Attn: 401 Water Quality Permit Coordinator
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: DEQ will review and consider all comments received during the public comment period. Following this review, certification of the proposal may be issued as proposed, issued with conditions, or denied. You will be notified of DEQ's final decision if you submit comments during the comment period. Otherwise, if you wish to receive notification, please call or write DEQ at the above address.
ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION: DEQ can provide documents in an alternate format or in a language other than English upon request. Call DEQ at (800) 452-4011 or e-mail email@example.com.